WINNIPEG - A man who says he was sexually harassed by a Manitoba judge admits he never had any discussion with her about sex, but insists she was part of a strange sexual harassment plan that included two meetings at a bar.
"She had to know why she was there. (Her husband) had been trying to convince her to get into this stuff with me," Alexander Chapman told a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry Tuesday into Lori Douglas, an associate chief justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench.
The inquiry is considering whether Douglas should be removed from the bench because of Chapman's complaint and because of sexually explicit photos of her that were posted to the Internet.
Chapman alleges he was the target of a sexual plan by Douglas and her husband, Jack King, in 2003. At the time, King was Chapman's divorce lawyer and Douglas was a lawyer at the same firm as her husband.
Chapman, who is black, alleges he was approached by King to have sex with Douglas, and was directed to Dark Cavern, a website dedicated to sex between black men and white women. On that website were two dozen photos of Douglas, some of which showed her in bondage gear or performing sex acts.
King and Douglas have said all along that King uploaded the photos and approached Chapman for sex without Douglas's knowledge. The couple have remained married and have explained that King was going through a mental breakdown at the time. King has already been sanctioned by the Law Society of Manitoba for professional misconduct.
Under questioning Tuesday, Chapman admitted that all the phone calls, emails and other communication he had about sex were with King only.
"This is all from him. You never received anything from her, did you?," asked Kirsten Crain, one of the independent lawyers leading the inquiry.
"No," Chapman agreed.
The only direct interaction between Douglas and Chapman occurred during two meetings at a downtown Winnipeg bar in May 2003. In the first, Chapman said there was no flirtation. During the second, Chapman alleges Douglas touched his body as the two discussed exercise.
"She touched my muscles on my arm and ... my thighs," he told the inquiry.
"No, we never talked about sex, no."
Chapman then walked Douglas back to her car as King remained at the bar, he testified, and as she left, she said she was looking forward to seeing him that weekend — an apparent reference to a proposal King had made to Chapman to come to the couple's home for sex.
Through affidavits and her lawyer's opening arguments, Douglas has denied ever touching Chapman, walking with him to the car or being involved in the sex plan. Douglas has said she went to the bar to meet her husband, was surprised on both occasions to see Chapman there, and went home shortly afterward both times.
Her lawyer, Sheila Block, has said Douglas was the unwitting victim of "unforgivable betrayal" by her husband and should not be further penalized by losing her job.
Chapman said he cannot believe Douglas was unaware of her husband's actions.
"She knew. I mean, she was obviously talking with Jack," he said.
"She can't be in no public office. That's not right."
Crain attacked Chapman's credibility throughout Tuesday's hearing.
She got him to admit that a university degree listed on his job resume — a bachelor of science from Concordia University — was false.
"You didn't get that degree?" Crain asked him.
"No, ma'am, but I did take courses that were affiliated with Concordia," Chapman replied.
Crain produced a letter from Chapman's former employer that the false university entry on his resume was one reason he was fired in 2010.
Crain also got Chapman to admit that he received $135,000 in 2011 when he sold his share in a jazz club. Chapman did not declare that money when he applied for a publicly funded lawyer for the inquiry, but instead declared his total income at $1,500.
Chapman said he didn't consider the money from the sale income, because "I took the money and paid off the debts of the business" and netted $3,000 to $5,000.
The inquiry will also examine whether Douglas disclosed the controversy when she was screened for her judicial appointment in 2005. At least one other judge is expected to testify about what Douglas revealed to the screening panel.
The entire controversy was supposed to be over and kept under wraps in 2003, when King paid Chapman $25,000 to settle his initial sexual harassment claim. Part of the deal was that Chapman return any explicit photos and not discuss the matter openly. But he went public in 2010, saying he could not keep silent any longer and the photos reappeared on the Internet.
Douglas is facing four allegations:
— that she sexually harassed Chapman;
— that she failed to disclose the issue when she was screened for a judicial appointment in 2005;
— that she didn't fully disclose some facts to the inquiry and changed a 2003 entry in her personal diary in 2010;
— that the photos have undermined confidence in the justice system and her ability to act as a judge.
Through her lawyer, Douglas has denied all the allegations. Douglas is expected to testify next week.
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